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Stay informed and inspired with us

February is Catholic Press Month. It always sneaks up on the Catholic Herald staff. We think about it in December, talk about how we should mark it, and then on the heels of the busy Catholic Schools Week issue at the end of January, we set our sights on the February wedding issue and Lent, just behind that.

The old days of cranking out a story on a typewriter, and waiting a day for photos to come back from the developer, even the hot waxed strips of copy in columns are a distant memory, and a curiosity for new staffers.

Now we report and write our stories on laptops tucked under the arm that also holds the digital camera, the wifi hotspot and, of course, the smart phone. We tweet, we Facebook, we text — all while asking the right questions, jotting down notes and formulating our lede while we head back to the newsroom.

By the time we get back, our readers have had a glimpse of the story — a photo of the bishop at the local Catholic high school wearing a ball cap with the school logo, or a group of teens at a rally or volunteers helping with Special Olympics.

When we go on record with our posts, our photos and our stories, you, our readers, are often right there with us. And when the print issue comes out, that story is told in 500 words or so, with dynamic photos in an attractive layout — all at your fingertips.

Good journalism — reporting, writing, editing — hasn’t changed, but it has evolved to a point where all that is done in rapid-fire succession on a 24/7 schedule. If we didn’t know our material — the faith, the church, the community — we’d have a tough time keeping up.

Our mission statement says, “The Arlington Catholic Herald supports the church’s mission to evangelize by providing news from a Catholic perspective. We inform, inspire and connect Catholics by sharing the faith story of the Arlington Diocese.”

In a nutshell, our goal with every tweet, post, photo and story — online and in print — is to report on news from around the world from a Catholic perspective, but most importantly to you — to tell the story of the diocese.

We want to inspire our readers. We want to be relevant and thought-provoking. We want to tell the stories that you won’t read anywhere else. We want our readers to know that we go to great lengths to be reliable, factual and faithful.

People welcome us into their lives to share one of the most private matters — their faith life.

These stories can be uplifting as people triumph over adversity, find their way back to the faith of their childhood or share an inspiring tale of how one person can make a difference to an entire community.

We want to engage our readers, but also intrigue those who have fallen away from the faith, or those with preconceived notions about our religion, or those unfamiliar with our church.

Longtime Catholic press editor U.S. Cardinal John Foley addressed a group of Catholic media professionals in June 2011. I have this quote posted on the wall in the newsroom: “A Catholic publication on the coffee table or magazine rack is an excellent reminder, for ourselves and our visitors, of our Catholic identity. Like the crucifix above the bed in every Catholic home, a Catholic publication in the living room or family room is a continuing reminder of our identity as Catholics.”

The clack of the typewriter keys has been replaced by the plink of a tweet, but the newspaper that’s served the Arlington Diocese for 42 years is here to ensure you are informed and inspired.

Welcome us into your day, your home, your favorites. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017